National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) released a 7-part video series: Improving EMS Worker Safety Through Ambulance Design and Testing.
This series is focused on keeping EMS workers, and their patients, safe in the ambulance patient compartment during a crash event.
Key points about the video series:
- Addresses research efforts to make design improvements in seating, patient cots, equipment mounts, storage cabinets, and the overall patient compartment body
- Covers 10 new crash test methods published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to improve ambulance design
I encourage you to watch the video series and share it with your colleagues, partners, and any EMS workers you may know. You may also find this infographic useful in highlighting the 10 new SAE crash test methods.
During National EMS Week – a week dedicated to personnel who provide life-saving services – I want to express my sincere thanks to our federal partners and the ambulance manufacturing community for their ongoing support to keep EMS workers, first responders, and their patients safe.
I hope you find the video series useful in identifying changes impacting ambulance design, testing, and manufacture. Should you have any questions about the videos, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Division of Safety Research
1095 Willowdale Road, MS: G-800
Morgantown, WV 26505
USFA has numerous Emergency Vehicle Safety Programs and Roadway Operations Safety Program: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/vehicle_safety/. Included in this:
- USFA and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), supported by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) / National Institute of Justice (NIJ), partnered on a project to publish Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Operations Safety. The document serves as a basic guide for all firefighters and law enforcement officers to improve their level of safety at work. It discusses training, policy development, education, and technology to enhance emergency vehicle and roadway safety operations.
- Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Operations Safety expands on a previous IAFF/USFA training project: Improving Apparatus Response and Roadway Operational Safety in the Career Fire Service. This comprehensive program which includes both instructor and participant guides discusses critical emergency vehicle safety issues such as seatbelt use, intersection safety, roadway operations safety on crowded interstates and local roads, and driver training. As a result of this course, emergency responders will be able to apply basic strategies to safeguard their health and safety while responding to and returning from an incident and while operating on roadways.
- Working with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), USFA developed the Guide to Model Policies and Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety, a comprehensive web-based educational program aimed at reducing the impact of vehicle related incidents on the fire service and the communities they protect. It provides in-depth information for developing policies and procedures required to support the safe and effective operation of emergency vehicles in the fire service, as well as privately-owned vehicles.
- Through this partnership, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has developed the Emergency Vehicle Safe Operations for Volunteer and Small Combination Emergency Service Organizations. This innovative web-based educational program includes an emergency vehicle safety best practices self-assessment, example standard operating guidelines, and behavioral motivation techniques to enhance emergency vehicle safety.
- Additionally, supported by US DOT FHWA, USFA initiated the Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative released in 2004 with a goal to reduce on-duty deaths from vehicle crashes and roadway operations among fire and EMS responder. Currently being updated through support of US Department of Justice (DOJ) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) as the Public Safety Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative that will include all emergency responders. Expected to be released later in 2013.
- Study of Traffic Incident Management Systems (TIMS) – (USFA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration worked in partnership with the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) on a traffic incident management study. The goals of this study were to enhance the safety of firefighters and other emergency responders working on the roadway and increase operational effectiveness at roadway incidents, including compliance with the latest edition of the DOT’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD provides guidance on traffic operations at emergency incidents that occur on Federally funded roadways.
It examined the latest technologies, training, and operational practices for effective traffic incident management. Findings were used to update the USFA manual, Traffic Incident Management Systems. This manual provides technical and training program information for fire and emergency service providers and includes case studies of roadway incidents that have taken the lives of firefighters, highway scene safety survival basics, incident command for roadway incidents, and examples of effective TIMS programs. Information on the American National Standards Institute/ International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) standard 207, High Visibility Public Safety Vests, is provided.
- USFA’s Traffic Incident Management Systems: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_330.pdf
- ResponderSafety.com Roadway Safety and Responder Safety Learning Network web site supported by USFA: http://www.respondersafety.com/default.aspx
- USFA has numerous studies with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researching innovative technologies to enhance firefighter operational safety and effectiveness, including research of:
- Structural collapse prediction technology: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/building_construction/ (second item)
- Firefighting tactics under wind-driven conditions: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/ops_tactics/firefighting/wind_driven/
- Structural ventilation techniques: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/ops_tactics/firefighting/structural_ventilation/
- Fire suppression effectiveness of hose streams: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/ops_tactics/firefighting/hose_streams/
- Additionally, USFA has numerous studies with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) examining ways to enhance the safety of firefighter protective clothing and equipment including SCBA: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/protective_clothing_equip/scba.shtm, Thermal Imaging Technology: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/protective_clothing_equip/thermal_imaging.shtm, PASS: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/protective_clothing_equip/, and structural firefighting personal protective equipment: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/protective_clothing_equip/ppe.shtm. Performance metrics and standard testing protocols developed during USFA’s work with NIST on Thermal Imaging Technology have been incorporated into and form the basis for the NFPA 1801 Standard on Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service.
- To create a safer operational environment for firefighters by increasing awareness about the performance of modern construction components and technology during fires, USFA worked with the American Wood Council (AWC) to provide an updated educational program for the fire service on modern construction components and technology: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/firefighter_health_safety/safety/building_construction/ (first item). This web-based program consists of:
- FireFrame (updated in 2013), an interactive tool developed with the assistance of state and local fire training agencies that provides information on the structural use of traditional and engineered wood products in modern construction.
- Woodaware.info (updated in 2013), a website with information about modern building components, including trusses, structural glued laminated timber beams, I-joists, structural composite lumber, structural insulated panels, and wood structural panels.
- Modernfirefighting.com (new in 2013), a portal to contemporary information on topics associated with fireground operations. Included are an indexed listing of subject matter experts on fire performance of building construction and contents and a field guide containing best practices adopted by fire departments throughout the United States.
USFA’s Emergency Medical Services Training and Research Program: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_322.pdf. On the last page there is a discussion of EMS Research Initiatives, some of which are also discussed on this page of the USFA web site: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/ems/safety/